Networking comes naturally to many outgoing people, but it isn’t as easy for those who are on the shy side. If you’ve been avoiding networking events because you’re nervous about meeting new people, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone.
Don’t let yourself be held back any longer from meeting people who could help boost your career. After working through your nerves at the first few events, you might be pleasantly surprised by how much you actually enjoy networking!
3 Ways Shy People Can Master a Networking Event
If you’re nervous about attending your first networking event because you’re a bit shy, use the following three pointers to calm your nerves:
- Start Small: When you’re just starting out, there’s no need to leap into the largest networking event you can find. As a shy person, walking into an event filled with hundreds of strangers is beyond intimidating. Start small by finding a more intimate, low-key mixer. You’ll feel more comfortable when you’re faced with a smaller group of people, as it will be much easier to strike up a conversation.
- Arrive Early: Arriving fashionably late is a great way to make an entrance, but not to calm your nerves. Getting there early before many others have arrived makes it super easy to find people to talk to, as you’ll only have a handful to choose from. Becoming comfortable in your surroundings and warming up a bit by chatting with the other early arrivers will help you to feel more comfortable by the time everyone else shows up.
- Prepare Conversation Topics in Advance: One of the things shy people fear the most at networking events is not having anything witty to say. Combat this by coming up with a few questions to break the ice prior to the event. Additionally, keeping up with the latest industry trends and recent current events is also a great way to ensure you’re not left out of the loop in any conversation.
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